During the offseason, I’ll be looking back at certain aspects of the Jets’ season by analyzing data compiled from all nineteen games, rather than watching film. I will be tackling as many diverse topics as possible, but welcome your suggestions or requests in the comments.

This week, I am going to look at the screen pass. A staple of the Chad Pennington/Vinny Testaverde eras, the screen pass is a weapon which many Jets fans feel should be used more. Some state that the Jets don't use it enough, but is that accurate? Others have said that the Jets are incapable of running this play, but does that come down to coaching, execution or personnel?

After the jump, I look at the data from the past three seasons to try and determine how successful the Jets have been in running this play compared with other teams and if there are any obvious trends linked to the personnel changes over the past couple of years.

Once again, I have used data provided by ProFootballFocus.com in researching this article and we thank them for providing us with exclusive access.

Note: In defining a "screen pass" I have used any pass where the ball was thrown to a receiver behind the line of scrimmage. Although this may eliminate some screen passes where the ball was caught beyond the line of scrimmage or where the pass travelled laterally and the play was therefore classified as a run, I consider these to be rare, so it is the simplest and most convenient way to ensure I am comparing equivalent data sets.

Why Do They "Never" Run a Screen Pass?

One common complaint is that the Jets never even tried to run a screen pass last season. Before we consider the reasons why this might be, is it justified? Let's look at some numbers from last year and compare how often teams threw screen passes when they did pass the ball. For simplicity, I will only consider the numbers for the main starting quarterback.

Jets - 8.1% of all throws were screen passes

Miami - 16.4%

Indianapolis - 11.1%

New England - 9.3%

Green Bay - 12.9%

Pittsburgh - 14.8%

Philadelphia - 15.7%

Buffalo - 12.9%

Detroit - 16.6%

Chicago - 10.8%

NY Giants - 13.0%

That's just a random sample of teams, but you can clearly see that the Jets threw less screen passes than any of them - significantly so, in some cases. You may be surprised to note that New England is the only other team that threw beyond the line of scrimmage over 90% of the time.

So, there does seem to be some truth to the complaint that the Jets don't run the screen pass as often as most other teams. What could be the reasons for this? Here are some suggestions. As always, we welcome your alternative theories in the comments.

1. Is it a strategic decision?

2. Is the quarterback incapable of running one successfully?

3. Are the receivers incapable of making the play work?

4. Are the blockers incapable of blocking capably on such plays?

5. Is the offensive co-ordinator incapable of running one successfully?

6. Has it been overlooked or forgotten in lieu of some other play?

Let's tackle these one at a time.

Strategic Decision?

A screen pass usually works best when the defense rushes the quarterback with several guys, leaving them outnumbered downfield by potential blockers. Early in the season, teams started approaching the Jets by dropping linebackers into coverage and flooding short to intermediate routes. The result of this is that the screen pass may not have been effective, because you are simply throwing a pass underneath and several would-be tacklers will have a chance to keep the play in front of them. This was a common tactic employed by opposing defenses, so it may have been a conscious decision to run fewer screen passes based on the assumption that it would not be a high-percentage play.

The Jets wouldn't be the first team to decide that running a screen pass was a low percentage play and remove it from their gameplan. After their loss to the Jets in Week Two of 2009, Bill Belichick was asked why he didn't counter the Jets pressure by running screen passes and he admitted that this would be a low-percentage and risky option because the Jets man-blitzes often accounted for the back out of the backfield. This underscores the fact that sometimes, the screen pass is an option that might not work and the fact this comes from another team that don't run very many is perhaps thought-provoking.

It's certainly possible that the Jets ran fewer screen passes than everybody else because they didn't think the play was likely to work, but that may not necessarily have been for strategic reasons.

Can Mark Sanchez Execute a Screen Pass?

The decision not to use the screen pass much may instead be born of a lack of confidence in Mark Sanchez' ability to execute the play. We'll get to exactly how successful the screen passes the Jets did run in 2010 were in due course, but the decision to not run many may simply reflect what critics of Sanchez have been saying since he was drafted. His accuracy is not very good.

Pinpoint accuracy is vitally important when throwing the screen pass. The most accurate quarterback in NFL history (in terms of completion percentage) is former Jet Chad Pennington and Jets fans will remember how successful he was in the short passing game because his receivers were able to catch the ball without breaking stride. If you throw slightly behind a receiver, or force them to stretch for the ball, they can lose all upfield momentum and the timing of the play is thrown off. If Brian Schottenheimer lacked confidence in his ability to make the throw accurately, then he might have considered a different pass to be a higher percentage option.

Do They Have the Receivers to Make a Screen Pass Work?

Receiving personnel is another key consideration. While Testaverde and Pennington had guys like Curtis Martin and Richie Anderson to dump the ball off to, the Jets lacked that type of player once Leon Washington went down in 2009. With the arrival of LaDainian Tomlinson in 2010, the Jets were better equipped to throw screen passes, but the loss of Washington removed a dynamic playmaking option from the equation.

Also, when the Jets replaced small, quick, receivers such as Chansi Stuckey, Laveranues Coles and David Clowney with the likes of Braylon Edwards and Patrick Turner, they again lost some of the shiftiness and acceleration that lends itself to a successful screen play.

Can They Block a Screen Pass Effectively?

Although the Jets made a conscious decision to beef up the offensive line by moving on from Alan Faneca and replacing him with Matt Slauson, they still have plenty of downfield blocking ability. Nick Mangold has always excelled at getting out in front and D'Brickashaw Ferguson has also made tremendous progress in that area. Slauson and Brandon Moore might not be as athletic as Faneca was at his peak, but they are no slouches, and - despite what their rankings say - the Jets have some capable blockers at the wide receiver position.

Although the Jets had many screen passes that failed to work this season, an inaccurately thrown pass can prevent a screen pass from working even if the blocks are set up well. In fact, there were a number of occasions where the intended receiver appeared to have blockers out in front, only for the pass to fall incomplete.

Does the Offensive Co-Ordinator Know How to Design a Screen Pass?

Once again, we are thrust headlong into an Execution v Coaching debate. Any of the personnel issues listed above may or may not be the reason that the screen pass was often overlooked last season. Or are they just excuses? Fortunately, we can get some valuable insight from further research here, because Schottenheimer was also the offensive co-ordinator before many of the personnel changes took place. Will there be a marked improvement in the numbers from a few years ago, or is Schottenheimer the common denominator in the failure of Jets to run a screen pass effectively? Keep reading to find out.

Has the Screen Pass Been Forgotten?

The final question is whether the Jets reluctance to use the screen pass is a conscious decision or has it merely been overlooked because the Jets have so many weapons that they need/want to try and get involved. Maybe they haven't decided it won't work - whether that be because of the defensive alignment, or their inability to execute it well due to personnel or coaching - they've just stopped trying for whatever reason. This sounds plausible, but based on how successful the play was over the last couple of seasons, the alternative possibilities would appear more likely.

How Successful Were the Screens They DID Run?

Sanchez completed 81% of his screen passes, for just 4.0 yards per catch. Based on that, they might have been better off just running the ball, but those numbers are pretty meaningless unless you put them alongside those of his peers. Here are some pertinent examples:

Chad Henne - 87%, 6.4 ypc

Peyton Manning - 95%, 6.4 ypc

Tom Brady - 80%, 8.2 ypc

Surprisingly, Brady had a lower completion percentage, but the plays gained over twice as many yards. Again, that comes down to how accurately the ball is thrown. Just for fun, these were Chad Pennington's numbers in 2008:

Chad Pennington - 91%, 6.4 ypc.

As you can see, the Jets were not nearly as successful as these other teams. Of course, that isn't necessarily on Sanchez, although PFF did rate him negatively on ten short passes to running backs in 2010 - seven overthrows and three underthrows. In contrast, Brady had just two - one of which was David Harris' interception - and Peyton Manning had just three. Therefore, there is some evidence to suggest that Sanchez was a major part of the reason why the screen passes were not quite as effective as they might have been.

How did the team fare in Sanchez' rookie year, then? They actually ran fewer screen passes, but they also passed less overall, so as a percentage, they ran screen passes 11.8% of the time, which is comparable to a few of the examples from earlier. In 2009, Sanchez only completed 72%, so you can begin to see why they started to go away from it. However, the improvement to 81% in 2010 is a positive sign. Hopefully this suggests that Sanchez is improving in that area and the screen pass will eventually become a more reliable option. Also in 2009, the play was pretty successful when it was completed, gaining 7.5 yards per catch. However, when you consider yards per attempt, the low completion percentage drops that figure below that of Miami, New England and Indianapolis from the list of 2010 examples above.

Why Was the YPC so Low in 2010?

First it should be noted that the sample sizes are small enough that a big play could have a huge impact on the numbers. For example, Jerricho Cotchery had a 33 yard gain on a WR screen called back for a holding penalty. Had that stood, the YPC number would have risen from 4.0 to 4.7. As another example, you'll recall Tom Brady pitching to Danny Woodhead on what was ruled a 50 yard catch against the Jets. Had that been classed as a run, New England's YPC would have dropped by over a yard and Woodhead's would have almost halved.

Looking at the individual splits, one major reason is that LaDainian Tomlinson was pretty inefficient on screen passes. He averaged under three yards per catch and if you remove him from the equation, the rest of the screen passes thrown in 2010 averaged a more respectable 5.2 ypc.

Tomlison was a reliable checkdown option over the middle, but perhaps his lack of speed and inability to break tackles relative to someone like Leon Washington obviously limited his ability to make much ground when catching the ball behind the line. Let's compare Tomlinson's 21 catches for 57 yards (with four incompletions) on screen passes with some of the other backs around the league.

Ray Rice (league leader in receiving yards for RBs) - 31-309 (five incompletions)

Danny Woodhead (league leader in yards per catch for RBs) - 8-96 (four inc.)

Jamaal Charles (PFF's top rated overall RB) - 20-118 (three inc.)

LeSean McCoy (league leader in receptions for RBs) - 54-408 (five inc.)

Darren McFadden (big play specialist) - 26-253 (no inc.)

While there may be some evidence that the Jets' ability to run a screen pass was hampered by the effectiveness of their receiving personnel, the accuracy of passes thrown to Tomlinson or possibly the play design may also be a factor in his low relative success rate. Maybe these factors had a material effect on his ability to break tackles. Certainly, if you look back to Tomlinson's numbers on screen passes with Phil Rivers throwing him the ball in 2008 and 2009, his production far exceeds the 21-57 he achieved in 2010. In 2009, he had 15 catches for 77 yards (with two incompletions) and in 2008 he caught 29 for 190 yards (with seven incompletions). While Tomlinson's overall numbers have dipped since 2008, there was no discernable drop-off between 2009 and 2010, which again suggests that his numbers on screen passes should have been similar and therefore must be lower due to either the passer or the system.

How Did the Jets Fare Before Sanchez?

Unfortunately, I do not have the data available to appraise the efficacy of screen passes thrown while Chad Pennington was at the helm. However, we do have data for 2008. Brett Favre may not have been that accurate as a Jet, but with Leon Washington as an option and a smaller, shiftier crop of receivers, would his numbers throwing the screen pass be significantly better than those of Mark Sanchez, or would they be similarly hampered by Brian Schottenheimer's perceived inability to design a screen play properly?

The first thing to note is that they ran the screen pass 18% of the time - more than any of the teams in the previous examples. Clearly the screen pass was more of a staple of the offense back then and they had more confidence in it. Given that he threw screens about twice as often, how did Favre's numbers stack up with Sanchez' two year totals of 77% completions, 5.5 yards per catch and 4.2 yards per attempt?

Percentage - 89.4%

Yards per Catch - 5.7 ypc

Yards per Attempt - 5.1 ypa

Clearly these numbers were significantly better than those for Mark Sanchez, which suggests that any contention that Brian Schottenheimer doesn't know how to use a screen pass can be shot down and the reason they have used it less with Sanchez at the helm must be because they expected it to be less effective. For a further comparison, let's look at what Favre did with screen passes over the last couple of years in Minnesota.

Threw a screen 13.5% of the time

Completed 85%

Yards per catch - 6.8

Yards per attempt - 5.8

A slight improvement, but not significant enough to suggest that Favre was significantly better off throwing screen passes in Minnesota.

Having reached the conclusion that LaDainian Tomlinson's effectiveness was impacted by joining the Jets, we can also consider whether any of the other Jets were more effective on screen passes before Sanchez took over at Quarterback.

- Leon Washington - 2008: 26-228 (4 incompletions), 2009: 3-25 (3 incompletions).

Already you can see how Sanchez' accuracy had an effect. Obviously, Leon was hurt early in the season, so the sample size is small, but already you can see that the play was used less and was less effective per attempt. Critics of Brian Schottenheimer might point to this as evidence that Leon was under-utilized, but it was actually just a sign that they were choosing to get the ball to him in ways other than via the screen pass. He still averaged over 14 touches a game (not including kick and punt returns) in those first six games, well ahead of his 2008 pace - under eight touches per game.

- Thomas Jones - 2008: 21-121 (3 incompletions), 2009: 5-22 (4 incompletions).

Once again, you can see a significant drop in terms of usage, accuracy and yardage per attempt. For what it's worth, Jones caught all five screen passes for 19 yards in 2010, but the Chiefs tended to use the speedier Jamaal Charles and Dexter McCluster for that play and Jones' numbers for accuracy and yards per attempt were still better than in 2009.

- Jerricho Cotchery - 2008: 12-50 (one incompletion), 2009/2010: 16-123 (one incompletion)

Here we start to see a pattern develop. Sanchez was just as good, if not better, in terms of throwing screen passes to his receivers. That seems to apply across the board, but I've used Cotchery to illustrate this because he is the main target and the one who seems to have the most success per attempt (Brad Smith, Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes have a combined 11 catches for 18 yards over the last three years). When you throw the ball to a receiver in the flat, it's more of a fast pass, whereas Sanchez seems to struggle with a soft dump-off to his backs. In other words, touch is as much of a problem for him as accuracy. Of his 10 incomplete screen passes in 2010, none went to wide receivers and of his 12 incomplete screen passes in 2009, only three did.

Just to underline this, let's compare Favre's 2008 numbers for RB screens only, to those of Sanchez in 2009/2010:

Favre - 47 for 54 (87%), 349 yards (6.5 ypc, 7.4 ypa)

Sanchez - 36 for 53 (68%), 134 yards (2.5 ypc, 3.7 ypa)

That's pretty illuminating.

Is Blocking the Problem?

To answer this question, we can again look back to 2008, when the Jets had more success with the screen pass. The offensive line was the same in 2010 as it was back in 2008, apart from the fact that Matt Slauson replaced Alan Faneca. Looking at PFF's ratings for screen blocking in 2008, all five graded positively. Ferguson and Woody were 3rd and 6th in the league for screen blocking among tackles, Faneca and Moore were 6th and 14th respectively among guards and Mangold was 10th among centers. So, all five were capable of doing a good job. None have factored in the leaders for screen blocking since then, due to the Jets not running many screens and having limited success when they do so.

Maybe Alan Faneca was better at blocking in space in 2008 than Matt Slauson is now, but otherwise, the line should still be able to perform up to that level. In fact, any downgrade from the left guard position can perhaps be offset by Ferguson's improvements in that area. One minor concern might be that Brandon Moore was graded as the worst guard in the NFL on screen passes in 2009. However, he was back in the middle of the pack in 2010, so that's probably just an aberration due to the small sample size. Overall, I think the linemen are equipped to block screen passes effectively and are not the reason for the play not being as successful as it might have been.

One other underrated aspect was that Laveraneus Coles was an surprisingly effective blocker on screens. In 2008, he ranked behind just Jabar Gaffney for screen blocking among wide receivers, despite having a negative blocking grade overall. Having said that, Coles had a negative grade for screen blocking in 2009 with the Bengals and overall I consider the current crop of Jets wideouts to be about as good at blocking as that 2008 group.

Looking Ahead

Although the yards per attempt and the percentage of throws that were screens dipped in 2010, the Jets did throw more screen passes overall and Sanchez was able to improve his completion percentage from 72% to 81%, which is hopefully a sign that he is growing in that area. If the Jets get younger at the Right Tackle position, that may improve their ability to get out in front. There is evidence to suggest that Brian Schottenheimer and Bill Callahan have had success with the screen pass in the past, so that shouldn't hold them back. The final question is whether they have the personnel at running back to make the screen game work.

LaDainian Tomlinson did not produce well on screen passes last year and is not getting any younger. However, with a reduced role and better ball placement, he can perhaps replicate his 2009 numbers which would represent a big improvement. Shonn Greene is developing as a receiver, catching two screen passes for 14 yards last year, but also seeing five fall incomplete. Again, better accuracy from Sanchez should see an improvement there. It would seem that Joe McKnight is well equipped to make an impact in this area, although he - perhaps surprisingly - only had 13 catches for 66 yards in three years at USC. Then again, Sanchez was his Quarterback for some of that time. One other option might be John Conner, who caught 25 passes for 193 yards in college, so should represent an upgrade over Tony Richardon (4-for-17 on screen passes over the last three years) in the passing game.

Conclusions

Maybe Brian Schottenheimer could draw up better plays or call them at better times. Maybe the blocking could be better. Maybe the playmaking abilities of the Jets' skill position players leave a lot to be desired. However, on this occasion, the evidence points overwhelmingly to the fact that Mark Sanchez is the weak link at the moment in the Jets' screen game. When throwing the ball to his backs, Sanchez' accuracy is statistically well below that of his peers. Furthermore, even when he completes the pass, his ball placement is inconsistent, reducing the effectiveness of the play. The statistics and my recollections from film study during the season both bear this out.

The fact that he improved his completion percentage on screen passes in 2010 is a positive sign that hopefully this is an area that he will contnue to grow in. If the screen pass is a weapon they can use more effectively over the next few seasons, it will make the offense all the more dynamic.

Tags: BGA, Main Page, Bent Double

 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com:

Last year's NFLPA Collegiate Bowl featured several players who went on to be drafted and make good contributions, including Jatavis BrownTrevone Boykin, and Ricardo Louis. Three of the undrafted rookies signed by the Jets after the draft and a couple of others who later signed with the team also played in the game. I reviewed this year's matchup to try and get an inside track on who raised their profile...

Quarterbacks

Most scouts seem to agree that ECU's Philip Nelson has the best chance of being drafted out of any of the quarterbacks in this game. In fact, Mike Martz, who was coaching one of the teams, said he views him as a future NFL starter. Moreso than any other quarterback, Nelson looked the part -- despite being only 6'1" -- but did throw a bad interception. The biggest name at quarterback was Greg Ward, who was once considered a Heisman Trophy candidate. Ward - who practiced at wide receiver during the week -- had his best moment after he left the game with an injury:

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NFL Conference Championships 00:03:59
Ralph Vacchiano, Marc Malusis and Chris Lopresti give their take on the AFC and NFC Championship games.

Ralph Vacchiano, Marc Malusis and Chris Lopresti give their take on Sunday's AFC and NFC Championship games...

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A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)
A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)

The Jets have signed WR Frankie Hammond to a reserve/future contract, the team announced Monday.

Hammond, 26, was recently part of the Chiefs' practice squad.

He signed with the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Florida in 2013.

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Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets logo prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. (Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets logo prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. (Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets will hire Robert Nunn to be their defensive line coach, according to SiriusXM and Sporting News' Alex Marez.

Nunn, who was fired by the Browns after one season and replaced with Clyde Simmons, would be taking over for former defensive line coach Pepper Johnson, who was among several fired Jets assistants at season's end...

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 (Jason Bridge)
(Jason Bridge)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

Here's a look at the AFC Championship game:

Pittsburgh Steelers (13-5) at the New England Patriots (15-2)

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To Rebuild or Not to Rebuild…that is the question! This week, Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett are joined by Joe Caporoso from TurnOnTheJets.com to find the answer. They take a look at what the Jets can do to start picking up the pieces heading into next season, and whether or not a complete teardown is necessary...

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Gastineau on health issues 00:04:48
Former Jets defensive end Mark Gastineau opens up about his apparent brain issues caused from playing professional football.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

Mark Gastineau is just the latest sad example of the damage football can do to a person and a human body. He admits he didn't play the game the right way. When he tackled he led with his head, and of course that's the part of the body that's betraying him now. The fact that he's been battling dementia, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease for a year is likely not a coincidence at all.

But during the ex-Jet's stunning interview on WOR radio on Thursday night he didn't blame football specifically for his condition. In fact he praised the sport and insisted his problems could've been prevented. He said he knows there's a way to make the incredibly dangerous game of football safe for everyone.

Even though he is dangerously wrong...

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Gastineau on health issues 00:04:48
Former Jets defensive end Mark Gastineau opens up about his apparent brain issues caused from playing professional football.

Jets all-time sacks leader Mark Gastineau told WOR Radio's Pete McCarthy that recent tests have shown he has signs of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and dementia.

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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Jets fans clamoring for Woody Johnson to give up control of the Jets may finally get their wish, but even with him planning to spend the next three years an ocean away, his departure is unlikely to have any tangible effect on the team.

The 69-year-old Johnson was officially named the United States ambassador to the United Kingdom by President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday afternoon. It was a move that had been rumored for weeks and hardly surprising considering that Johnson is a major donor and fundraiser for Trump and the Republican Party.

Johnson declined to address the possibility of this position when he met with the media shortly after his Jets completed their miserable, 5-11 season, and he hasn't spoken publicly on his future plans for the franchise. However, Pro Football Talk recently reported that he planned to give over control of the Jets to his younger brother, Christopher Wold Johnson. Neil Glat, the team president who handles most of the business operations and reported directly to Woody Johnson, could see an increase in power, too.

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New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) sits on the bench after sustaining an injury against the Miami Dolphins during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) sits on the bench after sustaining an injury against the Miami Dolphins during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

The Jets dismal 5-11 season left them heading into an offseason of uncertainty with a high draft pick and seemingly little hope. At the moment, there are far more questions about their plans and the future than there are acceptable answers.

But since you asked, I'll give it a shot anyway in the first offseason edition of my SNY Jets Twitter mailbag. Part I ran on Wednesday. Here, as promised, is Part II:

If we do select a qb in draft. Do we sign a vet and go with 4? Or who gets the out? -- @wendo2000

Tags: Ben Ijalana, Breno Giacomini, Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Ryan Clady, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Jeff Hanisch)
(Jeff Hanisch)

Mel Kiper's first Mock Draft for ESPN has the Jets selecting Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore with the sixth overall pick.

Kiper notes that the 6'1", 190-pound Lattimore "jumped to the top" of his rankings with a stellar season, adding that Lattimore has "all the traits to be a star."

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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches from the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches from the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

The Jets' dismal 5-11 season left them heading into an offseason of uncertainty with a high draft pick and seemingly little hope. At the moment, there are far more questions about their plans and the future than there are acceptable answers.

But since you asked, I'll give it a shot anyway in the first offseason edition of my SNY Jets Twitter mailbag. Here is Part I:

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Sep 3, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Mike James runs against Miami Dolphins linebackers Spencer Paysinger (42) and Jeff Luc (48) at Sun Life Stadium. (Andrew Innerarity-USA TODAY Sports)
Sep 3, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Mike James runs against Miami Dolphins linebackers Spencer Paysinger (42) and Jeff Luc (48) at Sun Life Stadium. (Andrew Innerarity-USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets have signed linebacker Jeff Luc to a reserve/future contract, the team announced Wednesday.

Luc, who has spent time with the Dolphins and most recently the Bengals, has also spent time as fullback.

In his four years in college at Florida State and Cincinnati, he recorded 200 total tackles.

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Nov 6, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) looks on before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Nov 6, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) looks on before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall said he believes his production on the field should make him desirable to any team, despite his $7.5 million salary cap, he told WFAN's Boomer and Carton Show. 

Marshall, in the final year of his contract with the Jets, told the show that he is one of the top receivers in the game, and that he is in fact underpaid for what his statistics show. 

 

Tags: Brandon Marshall
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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles watches from the sideline against the New England Patriots in the second half at Gillette Stadium. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles watches from the sideline against the New England Patriots in the second half at Gillette Stadium. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)

The Jets and head coach Todd Bowles, after a tumultuous year of losing and locker room discontent, have "a lot to soul searching" to do going into next season, former Jets offensive lineman Willie Colon told The JetsBlog Podcast. 

Defensive linemen Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson both had various off-field issues this season, which Colon said is a problem with both themselves as individuals and how the team has handled them.

"The problem with Sheldon and Mo, and I talk about them candidly because I know those guys, I respect them as individuals, Colon said. "But the biggest problem they have, they feel what they do off the field shouldn't matter about their play on the field. That's the lack of accountability and maturity."

Tags: Willie Colon
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Jun 1, 2016; Oxnard, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams coach Jef Fisher (left) and defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson at organized team activities at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jun 1, 2016; Oxnard, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams coach Jef Fisher (left) and defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson at organized team activities at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The Jets have hired defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson, the team announced Wednesday.

Wilson, 34, was the Rams' DBs coach this past season.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

Position coaches often fly under the radar, but don't ignore the impact of this one because Dennard Wilson has a big job ahead of him. He has to rebuild a Jets secondary that was a mess last season, and he'll have to do it either without Darrelle Revis or with Revis trying to transition from cornerback to safety.

Tags: Buster Skrine, Darrelle Revis, Juston Burris, Marcus Williams
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 (Michael Ainsworth/AP)
(Michael Ainsworth/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

The Jets still don't know who their quarterback will be when the 2017 season begins, but the consensus inside their front office seems to be that whoever it is didn't finish the 2016 season on the roster. Their quarterback of the immediate future, at least, is likely to come from the outside.

Just who that will be is still unknown, and there are many options being considered, according to team sources. There is a lot of internal support for Mike Glennon, the 27-year-old Bucs backup who will become a free agent on March 9. But even if he emerges as the object of the Jets' desire, he could be prohibitively expensive. The Bills, Browns and 49ers all figure to be in the market for a quarterback. Maybe a few other teams, too, like the Bears.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ralph Vacchiano
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Colon discusses Brown's video 00:02:42
Former Steeler Willie Colon rips Antonio Brown for being more worried about himself than the team after posting a video of Mike Tomlin.

Jets WR Brandon Marshall criticized Steelers WR Antoino Brown for the postgame locker room Facebook video that Brown posted following Pittsburgh's win over Kansas City on Sunday.

"You would never see this in New England, right?" Marshall said on last night's episode of Showtime's Inside the NFL. "What it does is it keeps the New England Patriots on task. It keeps them marching in a single-file line: 'This is the New England way, and this is how we do things.' 

"You only have three or four minutes after the game to be with your teammates and really enjoy the moment or Band-Aid each other up. So that's precious time, and that time shouldn't be live-streamed for anyone to see."

Tags: Brandon Marshall
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Louisville Cardinals defensive line coach Clint Hurtt (Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE)
Louisville Cardinals defensive line coach Clint Hurtt (Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE)

Chicago Bears OLB coach Clint Hurtt will not join Todd Bowles and the New York Jets nearly a week and a half after they had reportedly reached an agreement, ESPN's Rich Cimini reports.

The Jets and Hurtt never reached an agreement after Hurtt reportedly declined an extension with the Bears, according to Cimini.

The Jets fired OLB coach Mark Collins, along with four other assistants, after the season.

Hurtt served as an assistant coach at Louisville, Miami and Florida International.

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New York Jets guard Brian Winters (67) against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Timothy T. Ludwig)
New York Jets guard Brian Winters (67) against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Timothy T. Ludwig)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Brian Winters would've been one of the better guards on the free agent market and he could've cashed in even bigger than the four-year, $29 million deal he got from the Jets. 

But instead of looking for more money and maybe a better situation, the 25-year-old Winters decided to stay put because he believes that, despite the misery of the Jets' 5-11 season, there are much better days for the franchise ahead.

Tags: Ben Ijalana, Breno Giacomini, Brian Winters, James Carpenter, Nick Mangold, Ryan Clady, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets offensive lineman Brian Winters (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets offensive lineman Brian Winters (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports Images)

Latest Update (Jan. 17)

12:15PM: Winters received a four-year, $29 million contract extension, including $15 million guaranteed, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN

The $15 million guaranteed is the tenth-largest guarantee for a guard.

Tags: Antonio Allen, Ben Ijalana, Breno Giacomini, Brian Winters, Geno Smith, James Carpenter, Kellen Davis, Nick Mangold, Ryan Clady, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tanner Purdum, Wesley Johnson
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Aug 20, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon (8) drops to throw a pass during the third quarter of a football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field.  (Reinhold Matay (USA Today))
Aug 20, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon (8) drops to throw a pass during the third quarter of a football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. (Reinhold Matay (USA Today))

The Jets are expected to have interest in Buccaneers backup quarterback Mike Glennon, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini.

Glennon, 27, is an unrestricted free agent after playing behind Jamesis Winston the last two seasons in Tampa Bay.

As a starter, Glennon has a career record of 5-13.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
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DNL pick'em: Divisional Round 00:04:27
The Daily News Live panel makes its prognostications on the NFL Divisional Round games this weekend.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

Here's a look at the two AFC divisional-round playoff games this weekend:

Houston Texans (10-7) at the New England Patriots (14-2)

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 (Mark J. Rebilas)
(Mark J. Rebilas)

Latest Update

11:27 p.m: Eric Studesville has decided to remain with the Broncos as the team's running back coach, according to Mike Klis of 9News.

Previous Reports

The Jets interviewed Studesville for their vacant offensive coordinator position, reports Rich Cimini of ESPN.

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 (Brad Penner (USA Today))
(Brad Penner (USA Today))

Attracting a new offensive coordinator might not be easy for the Jets, writes Brian Costello in the NY Post.

"The view in league circles is the Jets are going to have a tough time convincing any candidate with options to take the job because of how they compare with other teams looking for an offensive coordinator," writes Costello.

Costello notes that there haven't been any reports or other indications that any candidate has turned down an interview request from the Jets, but says the job is viewed as unattractive due in part to head coach Todd Bowles' job security and the unsettled quarterback situation.

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Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett are joined by former New York Jets guard and current SNY Analyst Willie Colon for a deep dive into the Jets locker room. They talk about the best leaders on the current team, what to do about Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson, the mindset of a player making a position change, and much more as a busy offseason for Gang Green gets going. 

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson
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 (USA TODAY)
(USA TODAY)

The Jets have signed LB Frank Beltre to a reserve/future deal, the team announced Friday.

Beltre, 26, spent time with the Chargers in 2013 and Raiders in 2014, and played with the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL from 2014 to 2016.

The Jets agreed to reserve/future deals with WR DeShon Foxx, FB Julian Howsare, and WR Myles White on Wednesday.

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 (USA Today)
(USA Today)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

Coming off a miserable season, the Jets are in a difficult offseason position. They don't project to have much cap room, at least until they start cutting some high-priced players. And whatever cap room they do create might have to be spent on the quarterback they so obviously and desperately need.

And since they'll have to replace many of the players they cut, they may not have much room to re-sign their own players. The good news, though, is coming off a miserable, 5-11 season it's not like they have a lot of unrestricted free agents they absolutely can't live without.

There are a couple worth bringing back, though. Here's a look at their list of free agents, and how hard they might try to re-sign them...

Tags: Antonio Allen, Ben Ijalana, Brian Winters, Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Darrelle Revis, Geno Smith, Kellen Davis, Marcus Williams, Mike Catapano, Nick Mangold, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tanner Purdum
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 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

Leonard Williams was one of the few bright spots in the Jets' mostly dismal season. And now the 22-year-old defensive end is being rewarded for that with a trip to the Pro Bowl.

Williams, the youngest player to ever be voted by his Jets teammates as their MVP, was named to the AFC Pro Bowl squad on Thursday as a replacement for injured Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack

Williams, who was voted a first alternate, had seven sacks for the Jets this season. For most of the season he was the best player on the Jets' disappointing defensive line...

Tags: Leonard Williams, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets defensive back Buster Skrine during a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. (Raymond Carlin III/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets defensive back Buster Skrine during a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. (Raymond Carlin III/USA Today Sports Images)

We've looked at some of the roster decisions facing the Jets as we head into the offseason over the past few weeks. Readers overwhelmingly voted to keep Eric DeckerNick Mangold and David Harris and to dump Darrelle Revis, but were torn on Brandon Marshall and Sheldon Richardson. How about some of the other decisions facing the front office and coaching staff?

Of course young players like Leonard Williams and Darron Lee or players that performed well in 2016 like James Carpenter and Bilal Powell will return in 2017, but that about those whose performance was more disappointing?

Tags: Ben Ijalana, Bilal Powell, Brandon Marshall, Breno Giacomini, Brian Winters, Buster Skrine, Darrelle Revis, Darron Lee, David Harris, Deon Simon, Devin Smith, Eric Decker, Erin Henderson, James Carpenter, Leonard Williams, Marcus Gilchrist, Marcus Williams, Matt Forte, Muhammad Wilkerson, Nick Folk, Nick Mangold, Ryan Clady, Steve McLendon, Wesley Johnson
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Nov 6, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) looks on before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Nov 6, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) looks on before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall invited the Giants' wide receivers down to his house in Miami during Tuesday's episode of "Inside the NFL."

"I want to say thank you," Marshall said. "Thank you to the New York Giants wide receivers for taking all of the attention off of myself and my fellow Jets. I have a place in Miami...You guys are awesome. Thank you."

 

 

Tags: Brandon Marshall
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Should Jets draft Watson? 00:03:10
Willie Colon and Jon Hein argue about who the Jets should draft with their first-round pick.

Willie Colon and Jon Hein talk about who the Jets should draft with their first-round pick...


 (Timothy T. Ludwig)
(Timothy T. Ludwig)

 

LB David Harris had 95 tackles in 15 games for the Jets this season, which was his 10th with the team.

The 32-year-old had just 0.5 sacks in 2016 after racking up 4.5 in 2015 and 6.0 in 2014.

Tags: Nick Mangold
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 (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports Images)
(Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports Images)

Nick Mangold missed eight games due to ankle injuries this past season, last playing on Dec. 5 against the Colts.

The 32-year-old Mangold has a cap hit of $9.075 million next season, after which he is eligible for free agency.

So, should he stay or should he go?

Tags: Nick Mangold
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Oct 15, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) attempts a pass against the Miami Hurricanes during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. (Jasen Vinlove (USA Today))
Oct 15, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) attempts a pass against the Miami Hurricanes during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. (Jasen Vinlove (USA Today))

University of North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky has declared for the NFL Draft, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Manish Mehta of the Daily News reported in December that the Jets are believed to have a strong interest in Trubisky. 

"They got their eyes set on the North Carolina quarterback," a rival scout told Mehta. "The Jets are all over this kid. All over him. They'll probably deny it if you ask, but they love that kid. That's their guy. They're not going to get him though, because I think that kid is going to get over-drafted."

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New York Jets corner back Darrelle Revis (24) runs off the field after a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets corner back Darrelle Revis (24) runs off the field after a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Cornerback Darrelle Revis finished off the 2016 season with 53 combined tackles but had just one turnover (an interception), which came in the final week of the regular season. 

All year, the 31-year-old corner dealt with questions about his inconsistent play and effort. He has three years left under his current deal and would not become an unrestricted free agent until 2020, when he is 34. 

So, should he stay or should he go?

Tags: Darrelle Revis
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Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett kick off 2017 with a "now what?" podcast after a horrible season. They react to the Woody Johnson and Mike Maccagnan media gatherings, examine the recent coach departures, and take an early look at how the Jets can properly re-build their franchise.


Subscribe to the podcast here!


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Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets logo prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. (Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets logo prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. (Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets will sign CFL linebacker Frank Beltre to a reserve/futures contract, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN.

Beltre, originally an undrafted free agent out of Towson University, spent brief tenures with the Chargers and Raiders before heading to the CFL in 2014. 

He had 19 tackles and three sacks in nine games with Calgary this past season. 


Jets outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin (55) reacts after a defensive stop against the Baltimore Ravens in October. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports) (Noah K. Murray)
Jets outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin (55) reacts after a defensive stop against the Baltimore Ravens in October. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports) (Noah K. Murray)

Jets coach Todd Bowles is hiring former Bears assistant Clint Hurtt to coach the outside linebackers, according to Alex Marvez of Sporting News

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Sheldon Richardson had 62 tackles 1.5 sacks and one forced fumble in 15 games for the Jets this past season.

He also engaged in a locker room feud with WR Brandon Marshall.

So, should he stay or should he go?

Tags: Sheldon Richardson
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 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

Brandon Marshall had 59 receptions for 788 yards and three touchdowns in 15 games for the Jets this past season.

Dealing with hip and shoulder injuries for most of the season, his production was down from his record-setting 2015 campaign, when he reeled in 109 catches for 1,502 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Before 2015, the 32-year-old Marshall had recorded double-digit touchdowns three times before in his career -- twice with the Bears (2012 and 2013), and once with the Broncos (2009).

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Sheldon Richardson
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GEICO SportsNite: Mike Maccagnan 00:02:16
Jeane Coakley catches up with Jets GM Mike Maccagnan to discuss their disappointing 2016 season and looking forward to 2017.

Jets quarterbacks Bryce Petty (9) and Christian Hackenberg warm up before a preseason game. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Jets quarterbacks Bryce Petty (9) and Christian Hackenberg warm up before a preseason game. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

Christian Hackenberg, the Jets second-round draft choice last year, "will never make it", an unidentified Jets starter told the Daily News' Manish Mehta.

The comment came a week after a Jets source told ESPN that Hackenberg, taken with the 51st overall pick out of Penn State, couldn't "throw the ball into the ocean."

General manager Mike Maccagnan, who was retained along with coach Todd Bowles by Jets owner Woody Johnson, will be under intense pressure to fix the QB situation during the offseason.

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 (Bill Wippert/AP)
(Bill Wippert/AP)

Eric Decker had nine catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns this past season, with his season ending after Week 3 due to a rotator cuff injury that required surgery.

Before undergoing the rotator cuff surgery, the 29-year-old Decker also had surgery on his hip, and it's unclear whether he'll be 100 percent for the start of next season.

Decker joined the Jets before the 2014 season, when he had 74 catches for 962 yards and five touchdowns. In 2015, he had 80 catches for 1,027 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Tags: Eric Decker
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Chip Kelly a fit with Jets? 00:00:46
Marc Malusis and Jon Hein debate whether or not Chip Kelly would be a good fit with the Jets on their offensive staff.

The Eagles have denied the Jets' request to interview QB coach John DeFilippo for their offensive coordinator vacancy, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.

DeFilippo finished his first season as Eagles QB coach following one year as the Browns' offensive coordinator and three years as the Raiders' QB coach.

DeFilippo worked with rookie quarterback Carson Wentz in 2016, as the former No. 2 pick threw for 3,782 yards (most among rookies), 16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions (tied for ninth in the league).

Tags: Philadelphia Eagles
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 (William Perlman/NJ Advance Media )
(William Perlman/NJ Advance Media )

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan said he was disappointed with the team's 5-11 finish this season, and wouldn't put a timetable on when they would be a perennial contender.

"We're obviously not happy with our record. But I do think we made some progress [with the youth]," Maccagnan told reporters while alluding to players such as OL Brandon Shell and CB Juston Burris. "We have some pieces we feel good about."

Maccagnan said he felt comfortable signing Ryan Fitzpatrick this past offseason, noting that all options -- internal and external -- will be on the table for 2017 at quarterback.

Tags: Brandon Shell, Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Darrelle Revis, Juston Burris, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Sheldon Richardson
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Woody Johnson on keeping Bowles 00:02:36
Jets owner Woody Johnson discusses the Jets' disappointing season, his decision to keep Todd Bowles and the team's future plans.

Jets owner Woody Johnson expressed confidence in head coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan while speaking with reporters on Thursday.

"They will get this done, in my opinion," Johnson said about Bowles and Maccagnan.

"I have confidence in Todd Bowles," Johnson added. "I'm still very much in his corner. ...I think he's going to get better. I'm happy to have him and Mike. ...they have a plan to make the team better. They have a way to judge accountability and judge performance."

Johnson said there's no mandate for the Jets to make the playoffs next season, noting that mandates don't work, but added that he's "in the game of winning."

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The Jets worked out Olympic sprinter and projected wide receiver Tre Houston on Thursday, a source told Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News.

Houston, who worked out with the Chiefs last week, was also given a physical by the Jets.

The 26-year-old Houston is a native of Bermuda.

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